If you’re not mathematically inclined, all you need to know is that our lady of knitting, Ms. Zimmermann, realized that the application of a simple fact of geometry could make knitting a circular shawl significantly easier and more fun to knit.
The traditional circular shawl is shaped through a fairly complex geometry, either 16 increases every fourth round, or 8 increases every other round. All well and good, and not too hard to work, but it means that there’s a fair degree of counting and keeping track, and if you wanted to work some kind of lace pattern, there was a fair bit of planning and calculation required to incorporate the shaping into the lace pattern.
Now, whether she was helping one of her children with her geometry homework at the time, I’m not sure, but what Ms. Zimmerman did realize is that applying a rule about circle size could reduce the number of shaping rounds radically. The rule is this: that as the diameter of a circle doubles, so does the circumference.
What this means is that you start in the center, at regular distances, you simply double the stitch count. Work even for a distance, and double the stitch count. Each time, the distance worked even gets longer: doubles, in fact.
It’s the easiest pattern in the world to memorize, and because there are large sections worked even, you can work stitch patterns and motifs without having to worry about shaping. Or none at all! In some ways, the entirely pattern-free eyelet version is the best one of all. Genius.
It works for any weight of yarn, and you can work until it’s whatever size you want or need.
|My Rosetta Tharpe design|
In this webseminar, I will explain the mathematical principles that make it work, and I’ll show how you can create your own without having to worry about any math at all.
I'll share the basic Pi shawl pattern and its eyelet variation, and talk through a variety of ways to customize your own – through yarn choice, by adding pattern stitches and lace motifs. I'll talk through the technical details: the circular start and a variety of options for bind-offs and clever edgings that require no binding off at all. Along the way I will discuss tips for making lace knitting fun, and for ensuring your finished shawl is the most beautiful it can be.
Sign up now. You can attend live this coming Wednesday, January 14th at 1pm, or listen after the fact, at your leisure.